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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 7th, 2010

December 6th, 2010

It's the first Tuesday of December, and the last real week with multiple major releases. After this, the next few weeks are rather shallow in terms of first run releases. This week there are a number of titles that are worth adding to you collection, including the Pick of the Week, Inception on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack. Restrepo is also worthy of consideration for that honor, as was either of the Criterion Collection releases, Cronos and Videodrome.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 23rd of November.

12 Men of Christmas - Buy from Amazon
Kristin Chenoweth stars as a New York City PR big-shot who loses her job and her fiancee in the same day. When she is unable to find work in the big city, she heads to a small town in Montana. You can probably guess what happens in the end, but does it have the charm needed to keep you interested until then? Read our review to find out.

2010 San Francisco Giants: The Official World Series Film - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD
Champions deserve proper treatment on DVD / Blu-ray, and that includes full games, not an hour-long recap of the season.

Barry Munday - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
A great cast, but the movie is overloaded with forced Indie quirk. It didn't earn terrible reviews, but less than 40% positive indicates its only worth a rental, and that's only if you are a fan of the cast.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 2010 San Francisco Giants: The Official World Series Film, About Last Night, Ayaka is Your Angel, Alice In Wonderland (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy), Barry Munday, Beyoncé: I Am... World Tour, The Big Hit, Closer, Cronos, The Deep, Les Gamins, Inception, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Lost in Translation, Mademoiselle Chambon, Restrepo, Rush Hour, Shrek: The Whole Story, Shrek Forever After (Single-Disc Edition), Shrek Forever After (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack), St. Elmo's Fire, and Videodrome
There are quite a few interesting Blu-rays coming out this week, including one of the best movies of the year and the final chapter of what is arguably the biggest franchise in digital animation. A little further down the list we find Alice In Wonderland coming out on Blu-ray 3D for those that have already made the leap. Also, there are a couple Criterion Collection releases that should spark interest. And that's not mentioning limited releases, foreign language films, and even a trio of Bollywood films. Truly something for everyone.

Bonanza: The Official Second Season, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
One of a handful of screeners I'm still waiting on.

Boy Meets World: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
It has been five years since season three was first released on DVD (although only a couple months since the re-release of the first three seasons). Was it worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Christmas in Wonderland / A Hobo's Christmas and The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation
It's too late for Christmas films to really make an impact, so the number of them coming out has really dried up.

Cronos: Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The feature-length film debut for writer / director Guillermo Del Toro and it is still one of the best vampire movies. Extras on the DVD / Blu-ray include two audio commentary tracks, 45 minutes of interviews, a tour of Del Toro's workshop, and one of his short films, Geometría. Easily worth picking up, as is the Criterion Collection release of Videodrome on Blu-ray.

The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer - Buy from Amazon
This film played theatrically in a few foreign markets, but it is going direct-to-DVD here. Reviews are nearly impossible to find online, so unless the screener arrives late, there's not much to say.

Dragnet 1969: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting on the screener for this one. Hopefully it will arrive soon, as it is a bad time of year to send in a late screener.

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 1 - Buy from Amazon
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of ESPN, they are releasing a massive 6-disc box set that contains 30 of their sports documentaries, covering a wide variety of sports. That's both good news and bad news, as there almost no chance that a sports fan won't be interested in many of the movies. There's also almost no chance that a sports fan will be interested in all of them. That said, even if you are only going to watch half of them, the price-per-minute is tough to beat.

Fox 75th Anniversary Collection - Buy from Amazon
A massive box set of 75 films, only one of which isn't a double-dip. That's almost worse than if all of them were, because as it is now, if you want Cavalcade on DVD, you have to buy this $360 box set.

Hunter Prey - Buy from Amazon
The feature-length debut for writer / director Sandy Collora, who has previously made a few short films, most note-worthy Batman: Dead End, but most of his experience is in special effects. The film was made on a rather microscopic budget (reportedly less than $500,000) but the few reviews I've seen are mostly positive. Extras include an audio commentary and a making of featurette, which is enough for purchase rating.

Inception - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
Not only is this film one of the biggest hits of the year, earning just over $800 million worldwide, it is also one of the best moves of the year. (In fact, it could pick up several Oscar nominations, including one of the ten Best Picture nods.) The DVD appears to be (nearly) featureless and is being sent out as the obvious rental option. However, the Blu-ray has lots of extras, including a Picture-in-Picture track and BD-Live features that help push the technology. And not only that, but it currently costs less on Pick of the Week material for sure.

Law & Order: Season 8 - Buy from Amazon
Good show, weak DVD release.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 16th of November.

The Last Airbender - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This movie is based on a beloved cartoon and turning it into movie had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the early buzz was almost all negative, and by the time the film hit theaters the reviews back that up. So is it as bad as that? And if it is better, it is good enough to be worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Lennon NYC - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The story of John Lennon's life in New York City. The film has been earning good reviews, but the DVD / Blu-ray has no extras. Even so, it is worth picking up for his fans.

Mademoiselle Chambon - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Talk about good timing. Just a week ago the film earned an Independent Spirit Awards nomination and now it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. With the award nomination and good reviews, it could do well on the home market, compared to most foreign language imports. Extras are a little on the low side with an interview and an introduction, but for fans of French cinema, it is still worth picking up.

Milk of Sorrow - Buy from Amazon
An Oscar nominated film from Peru, and while it lost out to The Secret in Their Eyes, it is still excellent. There are no extras on the DVD, but it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

Passchendaele - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian movie about World War I that earned soft reviews, but earned more than $4 million at the box office, which is huge for a Canadian movie. It was previously released up here in Canada, but now is coming out in the States. If you are interested in World War I movies, then it is worth checking out, and at $7, it is worth picking up.

Patrick, Age 1.5 - Buy from Amazon
A gay couple adopts a child, age one-and-a-half. But When the kid arrives, he's not 1.5 years old, but 15 years old. And a juvenile delinquent. And homophobic. Awkward. Its reviews were good, but not great, and it really struggled at the box office. Hopefully it will find a bigger audience on the home market.

Prayers for Bobby - Buy from Amazon
A TV movie starring Sigourney Weaver as a mother of a son who comes out as gay, but she can't accept that because of her strict religious upbringing. The film earned good reviews and Sigourney Weaver earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. That's a great sign, but I'll have to wait till the screener arrives to determine if it is a rental or a purchase.

Restrepo - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best reviewed films of the year, and for a documentary, hitting $1 million at the box office is quite impressive. I expect it to pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Feature-Length Documentary. Meanwhile, the DVD and Blu-ray include nearly an hour of bonus interviews, deleted scenes, etc. The film isn't exactly the type that shines on High Definition, but the Blu-ray only costs $20, which is a good deal.

Roger Corman's Cult Classics - Buy from Amazon: Big Bad Mama / Big Bad Mama II and Crazy Mama / Lady in Red
Two more Roger Corman double-shots are hitting the home market this week. I hope to get some screeners sooner rather than later.

Shrek Forever After - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc DVD, DVD Double Pack, Blu-ray
The final installment in the Shrek franchise, at least before they move onto the Puss in Boots spin-off. While it wasn't able to return to the critical success of the first two films, it was better than the third film was. On the other hand, franchise burnout appears to have set in and its box office numbers were the weakest in the franchise, at least domestically. It still made more than enough to show a profit, before it hits the home market. As for the extras and technical details, I'm not sure what they are and won't till after the screener arrives. Also coming out is a Shrek Box Set on DVD and Blu-ray. If you want to upgrade or don't own any of the movies yet, then this is a very good deal. On the other hand, if you don't own any of the movies yet, you are probably not interested.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Season Six, Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
The latest SpongeBob release is the second volume of the sixth season and the 45th DVD from the TV show (not counting mixed show DVDs that include one SpongeBob episode). What episodes are included? Are there any extras? And is it worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

Trek Stars Go West - Buy from Amazon
A two-disc set featuring a number of Star Trek actors in Westerns. I would argue this is more novelty than anything else, but it might be of interest to hardcore Trekkies.

TV Series Megaset - Buy from Amazon: Married... With Children
Just the one Megaset, and it doesn't come out till the weekend.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, Blu-ray: Movie Only Edition, Blu-ray / DVD Combo
Technically, these DVDs / Blu-rays came out already, but they came out on Saturday, which means they fit in-between the two weeks. As I mentioned last week, it is an average movie while the Blu-ray / DVD Combo is the better deal.

Vegas: Season Two, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
I've reviewed the previous release, so hopefully this screener will get here soon.


Filed under: Video Releases, Rush Hour, The Deep, Lost in Translation, About Last Night..., St. Elmo’s Fire, Closer, The Big Hit, Passchendaele, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Videodrome, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Cronos, Patrik, Age 1.5, Inception, The Last Airbender, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Shrek Forever After, Alice in Wonderland, Barry Munday, El delfín: La historia de un soñador, Restrepo, Mademoiselle Chambon, La Teta Asustada